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Daniel Meech, winner of the Grand Prix,
© Pixizone / X. Boudon.
Caen Basse Normandie Grand Prix : Beautiful harvest for the "kiwi" Daniel Meech !

If a forecast had had to be given this morning, no one would not have bet on the victory of a New Zealander in the Caen Basse Normandie Grand Prix. It is indeed young Daniel Meech who carries the trophy so much coveted, in front of an original start list, where the favourites had the hard life.

The informed observers had perhaps noticed him at the time of the CSI *** of Saint Lô last weekend. His good performances were obviously not the fruit of the chance, and Daniel Meech showed with best than it is always necessary to believe in it. Riding Diagonal, a Westphalian 9 years old dark bay male, Daniel had already exulted when he obtained his qualification for the jump-off. A joy in measurement of the difficulties suggested by the course of Jean-Paul Lepetit, international course designer, who had not haggled over the technicality of the layout and the dimensions of the fences. " It's a real big Grand Prix course ", said Eric Navet, team world champion, who had been spectator of the class. After the passage of the " kiwi ", our team world champion Reynald Angot, then Dominique Mascella-Robert, and finally Florian Angot realized a clear round in the first en première round. On the whole, they were ten to qualify on 61 at the beginning (a new record !).

Meech, surprised star of a high level jump-off

Florian Angot, 2nd place. © Pixizone / X Boudon.
France with four representatives held the good end. But no one is not supposed to be unaware of the law (sport law), quite severe sometimes. German Hauke Luther had launched the hostilities by carrying out the first double clear round in spite of his role of opener. With less than 40 seconds, he placed the bar rather high. Grégory Whatelet wanted to play the game with its Selle Français stallion Eclair des Bois (winner of the class n°2 on Friday), but his fellow traveller answered him " NO ". Eliminated for two stops. Change of continent, direction Mexico with Jaime Guerra, one accustomed of the European events, true outsider him too. And it was firmly that he defended his chances with Jente, a pretty Dutch mare, obtaining a clear round, faster than H. Luther. Here are which made rising the pressure … First French to be sprung, Patrice Delaveau, and his Envoyé Spécial. Well started, the couple made the fault of too. Time if not would have placed them in front. Was going one to have a historical victory from Mexico in Caen ?


First, champion of regularity

Mario Hughes (Ireland), crowned best rider of the show, could not improve the score, a small stupid fault of her beautiful grey Heritage Fortunus made fly away her hopes. Belgium and Dirk Demeersman, in spite of splendid clear round of his grey stallion Clinton, remained behind. More than four riders, including three french. Good drawing? Daniel Meech for the New Zealand launched out to the attack of the jum-off with the firm intention to win. Diagonal followed him to the letter, a true osmosis is established between the two accomplices during the few moments of the course. 37.71 seconds, time to beat ! He couldn't get over it, and us either ! What was going to try the French ? Everything, of course. To start with Reynald Angot on Tlaloc M, a couple team world champion among fastest of the circuit. It was indeed best time …. but with a small fault of posterior. Dominique Mascella-Robert and Auleto came very close to accident in the double. And Florian Angot, with the stallion of the National Stud farm of St Lô First de Launay*HN, tried the whole for the whole. Clear round…..and 8 hundredths of too ! " I had left to win, sincerely, but the stopwatch was not with me today, it is a little irritating, the more so as the horse is in a splendid form " told us the Norman rider. Daniel Meech then enjoyed his well deserved victory. 29 years old, he lives in Europe since 1995. Installed in Germany, he followed a long time the lessons of the well know Dutch rider Emile Heindrickx. From now on only master on board his stable, sponsored by Klaas, he largely contributed to the qualification of his country for the Olympic Games of Athens next year. For once, Daniel is not a green kiwi !

Eric Navet saves the honor

The team world champion, born in Calvados, had chosen not to run the Grand Prix with the beautiful Dollar du Mûrier*HDS. " Dollar has horror of the indoor events, that makes him insane. I think that he is claustrophobic. I thus decided to leave him at rest until Spring ", he explained us. Thus, he counts much on his new horses, whose Gentleman Platière is the spearhead. For proof, the couple won in very difficult Petit Grand Prix Viacom, where not less than 96 riders took the departure. Judged in two rounds, in which wuarter of the start list could take part, this one made damage. 12 eliminations, 5 abandons, it was far from quiet walk. Fourteen couples carried out the first round without fault, and only four left track with a virgin score at the end of the second. The beautiful tread of the bai Gentleman Water-splash was right, with the detriment of the simplest galantery, the ambitions of three talented women who illuminated this weekend. Alice Debany Clero (USA - 2nd with Jumbo), Marley Goodman (USA - 3rd with Mr Acobat) and Judy-Ann Melchior (BEL - 4th with Espoir Z) really created sensation. " It was time nevertheless", acknowledged Eric Navet, quite glad to leave Caen with a victory.

Caen 2003….Caen 2004

19th International Jumping of Caen closes hardly its doors that already the organizers Xavier and Huguette Mayaud think of the edition 2004. The assessment of these four days is with the height of the authorized efforts. The public came many, that it is with jumping or the spectacle, which was full every evening. 2003 was was an exceptional vintage regarding to the riders, with great names of world show jumping. And the work cut down by the team of more than one hundred people reached tops. A top which completed the officialization of the partnership between the Région Basse Normandie and the CHIO of Aachen Sunday midday. In the presence of Region's President René Garrec, and of Franck Kempermann, General manager of Aachen, Mecque of the equestrian sports, the pact was signed. In 2004, the Basse Normandie region will be the guest of honor of the famous German contest, and will send to it a delegation of almost one hundred horses, and 150 people. The whole of course in the hope to convince the persons in charge for the International Equestrian Federation to allot to the region the organization of 2010World Equestrian Games. A new challenge that all support, including the foreign riders of the Grand Prix, who signed in favour of yes. A splendid sporting spirit floated in the air of the park expo on sunday !

Sunday classes results

Cl. N°9 - Prix Viacom
1- Eric Navet (FRA) / Gentleman Platière / 0+0 pt / 42.64s
2- Alice Debany Clero (USA) / Jumbo / 0+0 pt / 46.21s
3- Marley Goodman (USA) / Mr Acobat / 0+0 pt / 46.36s
4- Judy-Ann Melchior (BEL) / Espoir Z / 0+0 pt / 50.87s
5- Patrice Delaveau (FRA) / Hoggar Mail / 1+0 pt / 52.23s
6- Frederik Cattebeke (BEL) / Lute / 1+0 pt / 54.03s

Cl. N°10 - Grand Prix Caen Basse Normandie
1- Daniel Meech (NZL) / Diagonal / 0+0 pt / 37.71s
2- Florian Angot (FRA) / First de Launay*HN / 0+0 pt / 37.79s
3- Jaime Guerra (MEX) / Jente / 0+0 pt / 38.82s
4- Dirk Demeersman (BEL) / Clinton / 0+0 pt / 39s
5- Hauke Luther (GER) / Index 79 / 0+0 pt / 39.80s
6- Reynald Angot (FRA) / Tlaloc M / 0+4 pts / 37.17s
7- Patrice Delaveau (FRA) / Envoyé Spécial / 0+4 pts / 38.28s
8- Marion Hugues (IRL) / Heritage Fortunus / 0+4 pts / 45.11s
9- Gregory Wathelet (BEL) / Éclair des Bois / 0+Elim.
10- Dominique Mascella Robert (FRA) / Auleto / 0+Ab.

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